Roddick aims to salvage season against Mahut | sports | Hindustan Times
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Roddick aims to salvage season against Mahut

sports Updated: Jun 17, 2007 12:55 IST
Pritha Sarkar
Pritha Sarkar
Reuters
Highlight Story

Andy Roddick barely put a foot wrong as he darted into the final of the grasscourt championships at Queen's Club with a 6-4 7-5 win over Russian Dmitry Tursunov on Saturday.

The American second seed will be seeking his fourth trophy in five years after setting up a final showdown with surprise package Nicolas Mahut.

Mahut put himself in the frame for the title when he triumphed 6-3 7-6 in an all-French semi-final against Arnaud Clement.

"This is where I've been lucky enough to salvage my season a couple of times after some dodgy claycourt play. It's nice to be here and I'd love to win a fourth one," said Roddick.

The last time that Roddick ran into Tursunov, he emerged second best following a four-hour-48-minute Davis Cup marathon in which the Russian prevailed 17-15 in the fifth set.

Nine months on from that shattering experience, Roddick was gunning for revenge.

After torrential downpours over west London delayed the start by three hours, the American made his intentions clear from the outset as his thunderbolt deliveries skidded off the grass and barely gave the seventh-seeded Russian a chance.

Roddick signalled his Wimbledon aspirations by dropping only four points on serve in the opening set.

While Tursunov struggled to find a weak link in his opponent's game, Roddick reeled off the last 10 points and sealed the set thanks to an erring forehand from his opponent.

The Russian, conqueror of sixth seed Fernando Gonzalez on Friday, kept pace with Roddick until 5-5 in the second set when two failed HawkEye challenges proved to be his undoing.

He appeared rattled with the calls and dropped his serve.

To the crowd's and the umpire's amusement, the Russian went on to make another unsuccessful challenge before bowing out after 71 minutes when the American unleashed an unreturnable serve on matchpoint.

Mahut, ranked 106th in the world, bedazzled his friend and 14th seed Clement with an assortment of big serves and angled slices to claim his fourth successive seeded victim at the tournament and reach his first ATP singles final.

After toppling Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman, fifth seed Ivan Ljubicic and French Open champion Rafael Nadal, he now has a chance to become the first player outside the top 100 to win the Queen's title since 1998.

Once a sizzling passing shot winner had earned him the second-set tiebreak 7-4, he traded shirts with Clement at the net before sitting down, head in towel, to digest his remarkable run at the championships.

"It's a big day for me. I was supposed to play the quallies and six days later I'm in the final against Andy," said Mahut. "I really want to win tomorrow as no one remembers the runner-up."

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